This is going to be a really long article. It’s not really even an article at all, just my thoughts as I try to work out this awful situation. If you don’t want to read it, I understand. If, after you read it, you decide I’m not someone you want to follow, I understand that, too. This is not an “advice” article… I’m not here to give or share some useful jewel of understanding. This is me, the exhausted mom, trying to work out what my next steps are going to be.
The vaccine wars have come to a massive height in recent weeks and I don’t think we are anywhere near a climax.
New York is demanding quarantine and mandatory vaccines, penalties and fines for noncompliance.
We had a measles “outbreak” of 5 people in LAX and the result was an entire university on lockdown.
A person with measles was confirmed in Orange County; this person just happened to spend opening night of Avengers: End Game in a packed theater in Fullerton while contagious.
My feed is flooded with friends calling anyone who doesn’t automatically vaccinate “the enemy”. They say “If you don’t do it, you’re stupid.” “Selfish.” “Idiot.” “Your kids will die and we’ll laugh at you.” Doesn’t matter the reason WHY you don’t get them, the feeling is very much an “if you’re one of them, you’re not one of us” sort of mentality.
We are being encouraged to get the MMR everywhere we turn. “Don’t wait, go now!” they say. I got a call from my medical provider telling me “the threat is real, don’t wait”. I’ve been told the MMR takes up to 14 days to metabolize and be effective, so even if we got it today, by the time it starts working who knows what’s going to be happening here. It could be worse and it’ll be my fault for not acting when I had time.
Unfortunately, it can also shed and while the risk of contagion from vaccine is rare, it CAN spread to others, especially those who are immunocompromised during a 14-28 day period.
My concerns; Star Wars Land opens in a month from now at Disneyland. Avengers: Endgame just came out last night. Renaissance faire is here, Coachella just happened, Stagecoach is this weekend, summer vacations are days away, beach days, graduation, Independence day and ComicCon International… we are in the season of travel, going outside, riding on planes and mingling with strangers in close proximity. The world is not stopping for a disease and there will be thousands upon thousands of people from all over the world flocking these locations, most within 100 miles of my home.
How many of these people will have protected themselves with a dose of the MMR just to be sure before they go to any of these events? How many of them won’t have any protection at all, could potentially be carrying the virus and could accidentally infect hundreds of innocent people? The potential answer to both questions is pretty terrifying.
I’m not a nut job. I’m not an idiot sheep who jumps on the stupid train every time there is a new fad or fear-based parenting topic. I’m the stubborn goat on the hillside who refuses to come down when called till I know for myself the wolves are gone. Isn’t that what a mom is supposed to do?
I mean, what would you do?
What if you gave your kid something like eggs or dairy and noticed every time you did, life wasn’t just business as usual? What if he got really sick or cried for 8-10 hours three times in a row when you tested it? What if he stopped wanting to crawl or walk or even regressed back to barely wanting to sit up for nearly 4 weeks after you gave it to him- twice in a row? What if, after you gave that random food item to him, just days later later he came down with “totally unrelated, unexplainable but severe intestinal distress” then stopped eating half is regular diet and could no longer hold a fork properly? What if 10 days after he ate something, he started banging his head on walls, floors, and rolling around on the floor, becoming more aggressive and more distant, but just when he would stop those behaviors and seem like himself again, you gave it to him again and the whole ordeal started over?
What if, every time you have him that thing, he reacted worse than the time before both with physical and psychological reactions? What if every time you told someone, they said “well that can’t be right” and made you feel like an idiot? What if you had to turn to the internet for validation because no one would listen only to find literally thousands of stories exactly like yours, all from parents who needed answers and were made to feel insane by everyone they spoke to?
At what point would you begin to feel like you’d been gaslit? At what point would you become skeptical of the people who didn’t even care what was in the thing, only that they could shame you for not doing it?
At what point would you say “no more”?
At what point would you feel like, if you went further or ignored the signs even just one more time, it could be catastrophic? Could you live with yourself for not listening to your gut if something worse DID happen?
If your kid has a reaction like that to food, soap, medication or dogs, everyone would tell you to stop before it gets worse. Everyone would tell you you were a bad mom if you ignored your child’s obvious pain and various reactions that could affect his brain and body, development and quality of life. If it were a reaction to paint or grass or baby powder, everyone would tell you- you better not give that to his sister just in case. Have them both tested. Verify the reaction. Hurry, before something worse happens. Don’t risk the reaction getting worse.
That’s what everyone would tell you.
You’d not question or be questioned for your choice to protect your child because that’s what moms do. You’d be championed for being an advocate for your child’s well being against a medical system often known for overlooking inconvenient diagnoses.
This is normal.
This is parenting and being cautious and being smart, aware and educated. Pushing for answers and protecting your children is part of the job and what everyone expects you to do if your child starts to exhibit unhealthy or dangerous reactions to something you give them.
Unless we’re talking about vaccines.
Then… you are overreacting. You are delusional. You are paranoid. The 103-104 fever WITH Tylenol that would have demanded ER attention under any other circumstance is suddenly nothing to worry about when you call the nurse advice hotline. It’s fine if he’s 4 months old and sleeps for 10 hours straight with a two-inch tall, bright purple goose egg at the injection site that causes him to scream in pain for a literal month every time you touch it. “No follow up needed. Just give Tylenol for the pain. It’ll go away.” The sickness he gets like clockwork after he gets any vaccination injection is entirely coincidental, even though it happens every time. “Kids get sick, that doesn’t mean it’s a reaction”. The head banging is unrelated. The intestinal imbalance is fine and has nothing to do with it, even though he has no other signs of virus or infection and no one else in our lives is sick. It doesn’t matter that he went from laughing and looking at people to suddenly sitting stoically, for hours at a time, not looking you in the eye or even acknowledging he could hear you.
What would you do when they tell you that none of it matters because everyone matters more than your son and his reactions?
What do you do if they tell you what you are seeing isn’t real? His “funny” behaviors are just his personality. Don’t worry so much. “Boys will be boys.”
If it were literally anything else causing these issues, he’d have a bracelet to warn people not to let him anywhere near the thing.
Doesn’t it seem odd that precaution and prevention is the best plan when it comes to allergy for literally everything except vaccines? Isn’t it weird that a doctor will accept a mother’s “circumstantial, unproven claims” of reaction just fine when it’s hives after dairy or diarrhea after eggs, but not if it’s his ability to process the world around him after he’s had a shot?
After 14 hours of pain in his gut and scream crying, refusing to eat or drink and nothing but green poop, I had an ER doctor look me in the eye and tell me, “what you came in for and everything you have described is clearly a vaccine reaction and based on what you’ve said about previous incidents, it could get worse if you keep doing it. But none of these reactions are ENOUGH to qualify a medical exception.” He said, “if this were my child, I wouldn’t get them again”.
He insisted I add the reaction to the VAERS website and at least have it documented, but he couldn’t do anything else. I asked him if I should worry about his sister being affected similarly, (she was an infant at the time)… he said, “it’s very possible but you won’t know till you try”. I asked him if we could do tests to find out, he said no. Those don’t exist.
He told me anything short of life threatening is nearly impossible to approve as a true medical exemption due to reaction, even if the reaction could hinder his quality of life. He told me I was better off just using the personal beliefs exception option.
A few years later, they took that choice away. I called the doctor to get his records, hoping that doctors would have put something in his file to indicate the reactions he had experienced. I’d called after every “weird incident” to ask for advice from his nurses, but literally none of that made it into his files. We have nothing.
Mandated vaccines are no longer a concept out of science fiction brought on by Big Brother. They are here, now, today. The government in California is trying to amend the current vaccine bill to remove medical exceptions in (an estimated) 4 out of 7 cases. It will require parents to submit a request to the state, not their doctor, for medical exemption. The state will decide who gets medical exemption, not families, not a child’s doctor. A doctor’s recommendation can be overruled by the government and they’ve made it clear; that is exactly their intention.
If I kept feeding my child a food or a supplement that caused high fever for days at a time, rashes and giant welts, intense and debilitating stomach/intestinal cramping followed by days of gut imbalance, behavior, development and mood changes, someone could justifiably call CPS for my selfish negligence.
Yet, if it’s vaccines causing these reactions, we are heading into an era where someone could justifiably call CPS because I’m NOT ignoring these symptoms and giving the vaccines anyway.
So, what would you do?
Give in to what feels like years of gaslighting and hope they’re not wrong? Or stay firm and hope you’re not wrong?
I’ve lived in this constant state of anxiety for the last eight years. I’ve read so much more than I ever even wanted to know about this topic and I’m still no closer to an answer.
It’s important for me to stop here and make it clear;
In spite of this, I’m not anti-vaccines. I think it’s also important to tell you that I do not think my son’s autism was caused by vaccines. His cousins have various diagnoses and I, myself was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and I’m certain we have undiagnosed family members elsewhere in the tree.
This is not an “anti-vax/autism mom” article. From the countless studies I’ve read and heard about, at this point I believe autism is caused by both genetic AND environmental factors. If any connection exists, it is because his body reacted to vaccines and that reaction may have triggered something that was already there. I also do not believe that ALL children who are vaccinated are at risk for processing disorders… but… perhaps, if you already have a genetic predisposition, there could be a connection. Who knows. I’m not a genetic researcher, I’m just a mom and that’s just my theory based on the various studies I’ve read.
I’m not asking for abolishment of vaccines. I’m not asking to rid them from our parenting protocol. I’m asking for more testing, more attention to non-life threatening reactions and the connection between the gut, brain and immune system in these crucial times of early childhood. I’m asking for better, more transparent studies.
I want vaccines to be given separately and to be allowed to space them out without judgement – one vaccine at a time – not just one injection with 4 vaccines inside, ONE.VACCINE.AT.A.TIME. I want them to offer testing to see if the immune system will react or if you have the potential of reaction BEFORE you get them due to genetics and for the response to that possibility to be more than a shrug and a “well, I guess we’ll see”. I want FULL disclosure, long-term studies regarding injury and reaction and I want evidence-based facts regarding how SAFE they really are – after these long-term studies are done.
When I tell the doctor that I am perfectly willing to give my child the vaccine if I can give him the one that is separate and free of additives, they tell me no such thing exists. When I research on my own, I find – yes, it actually does… but you either have to go to another country to get it, or it is $1000 per vaccine to buy them this way.
They would rather we go without and be condemned by everyone we know, leaving our children unprotected than offer a pure, single vaccine so we can cautiously do them one at a time and not ignore potential reactions. Why? Because a single company holds the only patent for a measles vaccine in the world. Yes, the world… and they stopped making them separately for the US.
…And we are back at square one again.
So there is no help, no support, no sympathy… we are the enemy. We are just sheep, hippy “anti-vaxers” who are too stupid to trust science… if you listen to the way the media (and some of our friends) talks about people like us.
I trust science. I’m not stupid. I read everything. I stay aware and updated on my research and the studies on all sides.
But I also trust the truth of what we experienced for the first 4 years of my son’s life. I trust that his life and future may rely upon our ability to withstand the tide of hatred and judgement while also protecting him from these diseases some other way till they can offer these vaccines, the protection we need and WANT, with full disclosure of all research, studies, testing and proven success rates vs injuries.
I’m sorry our truth is inconvenient. I wish it wasn’t there, either. I’d be much happier, I’d sleep better at night, I’d worry a lot less if none of this was there and I could just turn my back on it, confidently get the injections and move on with our lives, but I can’t. …but I want to. In weeks like this, when fear is at its height, I really, really want to.
What would you do?
Would the fear of a disease be worse than the fear that another, worse reaction could take away the child you love or harm him even more?
Could you trust your instincts more than the hatful resentment you feel from others?
When it feels like you are being gaslit by the entire system and hundreds of people who weren’t there to see the changes and reactions as they took place, how long could you stand up and say “no” as they try to take away the right to protect your child’s body and mind?
I feel myself breaking. I feel the fear of being wrong sinking in… what if I am?
Is the disease worse than reaction? Am I willing to be the patient zero in our city?
Am I really just stupid? Was it all just nothing? Why am I questioning scientists? I like scientists. I believe them when they say things, so why is this so hard?
My mind is constantly racing with questions like this and the answers never come.
When the same people who fight to protect body sovereignty want me to look past the experiences we have had, forcibly inject my child with something that might harm him, it’s stumbling on a deep, philosophical, spiritual level. It feels abusive. It feels like like a relationship gone wrong. Self-serving and vindictive and like I’ve been betrayed.
I’m hurt and disappointed and angry and frustrated. I am exhausted and I just want to feel like my children are safe.
I want answers to questions like;
Why are pure and separated vaccines $1000 and not offered by anyone in a US hospital?
Why can’t we test the kids for reactions beforehand?
Why aren’t titters testing options covered by insurance and STANDARD PROTOCOL before vaccines are given to adults and older children before just automatically giving them the vaccine?
Why don’t we quarantine people who get vaccines till they’re done shedding like other countries do?
How come no one wants to talk about the fact that the rate of injury due to vaccines is well above that of the rate of injury due to the measles in the modern US? (They always include global stats when they talk about death and serious injuries and most, if not nearly all, are not in the US).
Why can’t we hold vaccine companies more accountable, demand more testing and provide a product with a higher success and lower side-effect rate?
Why aren’t people more angry with the lack of accountability of these companies?
Why are they federally protected from liability?
Why do we have a vaccine court hardly anyone has ever even heard of?
Why aren’t there mandated third party unbiased tests done to verify that the vaccines actually work and do not cause the reactions that people like me are seeing?
Why aren’t there more protections in place for reactions that may not be life threatening but could be life-altering?
Why are these questions still questions at all in 2019 when we can manufacture organs in 3-D printers and send satellites to Pluto or get photos of black holes? Why not just reformulate the darn thing correctly?
When every single question I’ve asked can be answered “because money”, how can I not trust my own experience more than these people?
*Edited Friday, May 3rd to add; I have gone back and fourth on this decision for literal years. Yesterday morning, sometime after 2:30am, my exhausted, still-racing brain… it just… gave in. I decided to shift my research to detoxification, how to help them if reactions occur, and to go ahead and do it. “For the sake of everything, just do it”, I said. I fell asleep feeling resolved. Not comfortable, not happy, but resolved and ready to begin preparing for the next battle, should another reaction occur.
Four hours later, I woke and found this article.
It came through my feed from Yahoo Finance as I was having my morning coffee. These are exactly the issues I have. This is precisely the reason I hesitate. When the Federal Information Act requires they provide the truth, the truth is… they didn’t do the job right and reactions DID occur, but they refused to document them. There WAS clear evidence of consistency across the subjects; this vaccine was not ready. They ignored the evidence, told everyone it was fine and did it anyway. Every single thing listed here as a reaction is like the check-list of what happened to my child.
Now I’m back to square one. Again.
My children are still unprotected. I’m still fatigued with anxiety. I feel no closer to a resolution today than I did yesterday, than I did a year ago, because every single time I decide to look past my intuition, something like this stops me the very same day.
This is not MY fault. This is not because I’m stupid, blind, crazy… whatever else they want to say. This is because these companies have gotten away with providing shoddy product with minimal testing, making billions without adequate verification of both accuracy OR safety. Because they’ve convinced everyone to follow them “because science”, we should just do what they say… even without proper testing or proof. Everyone would love for me to shrug and say, “it’s still better than nothing”… but is that the right thing to do?
What would you do?